Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS is sometimes called crib death because the death happens when a baby is sleeping in a crib. It’s one of the leading causes of death in babies from ages 1 month to 1 year. It happens most often between 2 and 4 months old.
Researchers don't know the exact cause of SIDS. Studies have shown that some babies who die from SIDS have the following:
Most babies who die from SIDS have one or more risk factors. Some risk factors are preventable, but others are not. There are many risk factors for SIDS. They may include the following.
There are no symptoms of SIDS that can be used to prevent it.
The diagnosis of SIDS is made when the cause of death is unexplained after a complete investigation. An investigation includes:
There is no specific treatment for SIDS.
There is no way to guess which babies will die from SIDS. But known risk factors can be controlled. They include:
If you or someone else in your home smokes, talk with your healthcare provider about quitting. If you have any questions or concerns about SIDS risk factors, talk with your baby’s healthcare provider.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: